Emma Brown

In the swirl of business metrics and imperatives, it is easy to forget the one success essential – your own health.

Using your health to maximise your success

I’ve been on this health thing for a while now. It took my coach to get tough on me before I realised how I was burning myself out and actually hindering my business’s growth.

You see, at the age of 27, you think you’re invincible and bullet proof – and to be honest, I show no signs of that changing for the moment. I can get up and go to work early, I can pump out eight meetings a day, I can go to events every night when I leave the office, and when I get home I can get in a few hours of work on the laptop before I get horizontal.

Before this epiphany, the adages of “your health is the most important thing you have” and “without your health you have nothing” meant little to me. Thank goodness I learnt the lesson before any serious accident or disease afflicted me.

I’ve relearned the way I do business now, and implemented a few lifestyle enhancements that are working wonders. I hope you find one below that you like and can work in to your life immediately.

  1. Ditch the coffee*. This can be hard to do when so many business meetings revolve around having coffees and meeting in cafes. I drink smoothies and juices instead. When people ask to meet me for a coffee, I’ll ask them to meet in a juice bar.
  2. Drink more water. I have a two-litre bottle on my desk and it gets emptied at least once a day. Sometimes I’ll drink two. Enroll others in your hydration quest; all my team know to fill up my water bottle if it’s empty, and if I’m filling up my bottle, I’ll grab some of my teams’ and fill theirs up too.
  3. Resist the urge for junk food. We have five containers in our office filled with nuts and dried fruits and we snack on these. Reaching for junk food is just a habit. Once the habit is broken, you won’t crave it.
  4. Exercise. I only stay in hotels with gyms, or look for hotels that are close to my gym when I’m travelling. If you’re finding it hard to prioritise exercise, try activities where your motivation doesn’t dictate whether you’ll do it or not. Try joining a sporting team where your attendance is required.
  5. Get organised. We make lunch each day at work and take turns in creating salads and healthy food. We’ve made it fun. It’s easier to do this with other people, so go on! Get a lunch buddy now!
  6. Retreat is important. I book two weeks a year at a health retreat and no longer feel guilty about that.

*OK, not entirely. I still have one or two a week. Here’s one adage that still means something to me: “Everything in moderation!”


Emma Brown, at 27, has bought two businesses and sold one. She is Chief Chick of Business Chicks, Australia’s leading community for women. She’s on the board of Entrepreneurs Organisation, and lives in Sydney with her fellow entrepreneur partner.


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